Evolution and the Public (1859-2009)
The discussion of a scientific
and its ramifications since Charles Darwin
In 1859, Charles Darwin published his theory of evolution. Soon after the sensational and controversial discussion of the theory in Oxford in 1860, it spread throughout the general public. It has been and is discussed in various contexts, with new and familiar arguments ever since. Public discourse has evolved to impinge upon a broad range of issues, ranging from science to politics, society and culture, from the discussion about a biological theory in mid-nineteenth century to the recent debates on biotechnology and genetic engineering. Publicized in varying forms and in all kinds of media, it has become a topic of people from a great variety of backgrounds, touching upon the life of scientists as well as laypersons.
The “Darwin Year 2009” once more highlights the necessity to review this extremely controversial and multifaceted debate as well as to address its course and the arguments brought forth, changed and replaced in this long-standing process of 150 years. After a major international conference in Siegen, the historical and recent aspects about the discussion on evolution will be made accessible to a broader audience. This will be attempted with a bilingual publication (German-English) for a general readership and a bilingual and permanently available website, inviting users to get information on and participate in the ongoing debate.
For further information on the contents of the conference, please click on Programme .